20220120 ELW Baia Mare R3 Preview
EHF European League

Clash between Nantes and Baia Mare headlines third round

EHF / Danijela Vekic, Sergey Nikolaev, Adrian Costeiu

In round 3 in the group phase of the EHF European League Women 2021/22, the spotlight will be on the group B clash between reigning champions Les Neptunes de Nantes and CS Minaur Baia Mare.

The only match in group A will be played on French soil when ES Besancon Feminin face Croatian side HC Lokomotiva Zagreb. Lokomotiva lost their opener in the group phase last weekend, while Besancon will have another chance for redemption in front of their fans after two consecutive losses.

In group C, Handball Club Lada are looking for their first points, while in group D, SCM Ramnicu Valcea and Viborg HK want to build on their successful starts.

GROUP A
ES Besancon Feminin (FRA) vs HC Lokomotiva Zagreb (CRO)
Saturday 22 January, 20:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • this will be the first encounter between the two teams
  • Lokomotiva lost their only match played in the group phase against Motherson Mosonmagyarovari KC, while Besancon have lost both of their games
  • the French club host Lokomotiva after securing a 37:23 win against Celles-Sur-Belle in the domestic league; Lokomotiva overran Trogir 36:16 in the restart of the Croatian league
  • goalkeeper Lena Ivancok (18 saves) and was the best player for Lokomotiva in their first match
  • Lucie Granier, who won silver with France at the IHF Women's World Championship 2021, is a key player for Besancon
  • Besancon scored at least 30 goals in both matches so far; Lokomotiva netted 19 against Mosonmagyarovar's strong defence
  • Lokomotiva Zagreb goalkeeper Lucija Bešen said: "Besancon is an experienced team which has experienced players in all positions. They are all individually very good, well-integrated into the team."
  • Besancon Feminin right wing Sabrina Zazai said: "We have found pleasure in playing despite our defeats. We are keen to get our first win in the EHF European League at home."
  • Beancon Feminin assistant coach Tom Garnier said: "We are going to play against a great handball team which is first in the Croatian championship. They are a different team from the two others we have already played."

Motherson Mosonmagyarovari KC (HUN) vs Sola HK (NOR)
Match has been postponed and will be rescheduled.

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GROUP B
SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) vs MKS Zaglebie Lubin (POL)
Saturday 22 January, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • no other side has scored more goals than Bietigheim (66 goals) in the first two games of the group phase
  • Lubin are fighting for their lives in the group after suffering two losses in the first two matches, including a last-second loss at home (26:27) against Les Neptunes de Nantes
  • in their only game played against Polish opposition in European competitions, the German side beat MKS Perla Lublin 34:19 in a qualification tournament for the DELO EHF Champions League 2018/19
  • German right back Julia Maidhof is Bietigheim's top scorer in the group phase, with 13 goals, and third overall in the top scorer standings, only two goals behind Cisnadie right back Marilena Neagu
  • after securing a 32:20 win against Metzingen on Wednesday evening in the German Bundesliga, Bietigheim are still unbeaten in 19 games played this season in all competitions

Les Neptunes de Nantes (FRA) vs CS Minaur Baia Mare (ROU)
Sunday 23 January, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Nantes, the current title holders, avoided a crucial loss in the last game against Lubin last Sunday, mounting an impressive comeback to snatch their first win of the group phase, 27:26
  • when the two sides met in Baia Mare in the EHF Finals Women last season, the French outfit took a pivotal 36:34 win in the semi-finals on their way to the trophy
  • Baia Mare have conceded 18 goals more than Nantes in group B, an average of 35.5 goals per game, as the defence has been their undoing in the EHF European League Women
  • influential centre back Cristina Laslo, who scored eight goals in Baia Mare's first two matches in the group, has announced that she will join Romanian rivals Gloria Bistrita next season
  • the Romanian side have won three games and lost four against French teams in their history, with their only away win coming against Fleury Loiret in the main round of the DELO EHF Champions League 2015/16 season

GROUP C
Magura Cisnadie (ROU) vs Handball Club Lada (RUS)
Sunday 23 January, 12:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • while Lada are bottom of the group with zero points, Magura are second and have two points
  • on Monday, Lada's coach Alexey Alekseev had to step down following six straight defeats in all competitions, including two in the EHF European League Women
  • 2016 Olympic champion Ekaterina Marennikova, who had been assistant coach to Alekseev, took over as interim coach
  • on Wednesday, her team ended their unlucky run, narrowly beating Rostov-Don in the Russian league, 30:29. On the same day, Magura also won in the Romanian league, 30:21 against CS Dacia Mioveni
  • Magura have two Russian players in their roster, Kira Trusova and Yuliia Garyaeva, but they have never played for Lada

Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR) vs Herning-Ikast Handbold (DEN)
The match has been postponed and will be rescheduled

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GROUP D
Váci NKSE (HUN) vs Viborg HK (DEN)
Saturday 22 January, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the two teams have never faced each other before in European club competitions
  • Viborg, who were seeded directly into the group stage, opened their campaign with a 27:24 win against Chambray
  • in contrast, Vac were defeated 39:29 at Valcea and sit bottom of the group
  • in last season's group phase in the same competition, Vac lost twice against another Danish team: Herning-Ikast
  • Viborg, who are second in the Danish league, beat Aarhus United 28:24 in their midweek game

Chambray Touraine Handball (FRA) vs SCM Ramnicu Valcea (ROU)
Saturday 22 January, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Chambray will play their second home match in the group stage of a European club competition
  • last weekend, Chambray goalkeeper Rikke Granlund made 18 saves, and her teammate Jovana Stoiljkovic scored 10 goals, but the French team opened the group phase with a loss against Viborg
  • Valcea goalkeeper Isabell Roch boasted a 41 per cent save rate and Asma Elghaoui scored 11 goals from 11 attempts as the Romanian side took a 10-goal win against Vac
  • Valcea top the group, ahead of Viborg on goal difference
  • Alexandra Lacrabere’s 10 goals helped Chambray to a 32:31 win in the French league on Wednesday. On the same day, Valcea defeated Gloria Bistrita in the Romanian league, 28:26

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